Strategie Grains sees stable EU wheat, durum crops in 2018, barley up

PARIS, Dec 14 (Reuters) – Farmers in the European Union will harvest about the same amount of soft wheat in 2018 as they did this year as higher projected yields compensate for a fall in area sown, consultancy Strategie Grains said on Thursday.

Durum seeded area is expected to be the same year on year, and with a marginal increase in yield, the total prodution should be 9.2 million tonnes.

In its first forecasts for next year’s crops, Strategie Grains said it expected EU countries to harvest 142.3 million tonnes of soft wheat in 2018, compared to 142.4 million in 2017.

Strategie Grains reduced its forecast for the area sown with soft wheat ahead of the 2018 harvest by 200,000 hectares to 23.3 million, compared with the figure last month.

The cut in area sown was mainly due to changes in the Balkans, leading to a fall in output there. Production would also fall in Romania, Bulgaria, Poland and Scandinavia year-on-year, it said.

But large producers, such as Germany, France, Spain and Italy, were expected to harvest larger crops in 2018.

In contrast barley production was seen rising significantly next season, up six percent at 62.2 million tonnes.

The larger crop was due to a rise in both area and average yields with sharp increases expected in Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Latvia and Lithuania, and to a lesser extent in Germany, France, Finland, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, the Benelux countries and Romania, Strategie Grains said in its monthly report.

It expected barley output to fall year-on-year in Britain, Poland and Bulgaria.

For grain corn, which is sown exclusively in the spring, production in the 28-member bloc was forecast to rise 1 percent next year to 59.9 million tonnes.

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